In Case you Missed it!

April 15th, 2013 Posted in In Case You Missed It
Heidi L. Huddleston Cross ’97, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, CWOCN, originally run in the spring/summer edition of The Spartan 2012

Heidi L. Huddleston Cross ’97, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, CWOCN, originally run in the spring/summer edition of The Spartan 2012

What an interesting life alumna Heidi Huddleston Cross ’97 has led!  From her childhood living in Salzburg, Austria (and having a few cameo shots in the Sound of Music as she doubled for the Brigitte Von Trapp character), to finding her life’s passion in nursing, to her mission work in South Sudan, her life reads like a captivating story.  Heidi’s comments make it easier to understand why she is such a success:  “It sounds corny, but I really believe that I was born to do exactly what I do, and CCC provided the portal and the means to do it!”

After graduating summa cum laude from CCC, Cross earned her bachelor’s in Nursing magna cum laude from Syracuse University; a master’s in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Certificate from SUNY Upstate Medical University; and her WOCN (Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurse) Certificate at Wicks Educational Associates in Pennsylvania.  Heidi currently works at Upstate University Hospital as Nurse Practitioner in inpatient and outpatient wound and ostomy nursing.  In addition, she is a Nurse Practitioner with CNY Surgical Physicians at the Community General Wound Care Center.  Heidi also maintains Central New York’s only Ostomy Support Group.  Recently, she has branched out to legal nursing and does chart review for attorneys.

Cross is currently chair of the WOCN Certification Board Exam Committee and serves on several other committees.  She has been a presenter at national and regional conferences and done contract work with PESI (a provider of high-quality continuing education for health care professionals), lecturing nationally on wound and ostomy care.  And, she has found time to be published in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing.

Last June at the WOCN Society’s annual conference, Heidi was honored with the 2011 WOC Nurse Great Comebacks Award for “her dedication to patients and her many achievements in ostomy care… a nurse who regularly goes the extra mile to help patients achieve a full recovery and live a healthier life.”  She also received a Presidential Award from the WOCN Certification Board that year.

In 2010, Cross was the winner of the first annual WOCN Certification Board Scholarship to the Nurse in Washington Internship (NIWI), an annual project of the Nursing Organizations Alliance designed to inform nurses about the legislative process.  (She received a scholarship again in 2011.)  She was recipient of a WOCN Society Members’ Research Grant in 2010.  In 2009, the honor society of nursing, Sigma Theta Tau, Omicron Alpha Chapter, presented her with the Community Mentor Award.  Heidi was chosen as the 2008 Nurse of the Year by the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA).

In 2009 Heidi traveled with an upstate NY medical team to Southern Sudan on a 10-day mission to teach wound care to physicians and nurses at the Duk Payuel Lost Boys Clinic.  While there she assisted a 6-foot-6-inch Sudanese R.N. in teaching wound care, whom she described as “very interested, wonderful and hardworking” and stated that they “made quite a pair.”  This very remote village is reachable only by bush plane, and although the area is undergoing turmoil between warring tribes, her husband is heading there in February to help build a nutrition center.  Don Cross, an engineer at Nucor Steel in Auburn, is one of the volunteers who over the years have helped build the Duk Lost Boys Clinic, a 4,000-square-foot medical center.

From her fascinating childhood, growing up with a father who was a professional opera singer (appearing in Camelot with Richard Burton and Julie Andrews on Broadway), to her remarkable career choices and mission work, Heidi Cross shows no signs of slowing down.  She and her husband live in Skaneateles, NY, where they raised their four children, and have five “wonderful and beautiful” grandchildren.

Some final thoughts from this alumna:  “I can’t tell you how grateful I am to CCC for providing the education and superb preparation for an exciting career.  I feel so blessed to be in a career that I love.”

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